If someone told you that Todd Pletcher won the Longines Kentucky Oaks, you probably wouldn't be that surprised and you'd probably be thinking he won it with the undefeated Unlimited Budget or the favorite, Dreaming of Julia. However, it was the overlooked Grade 2 Gazelle runner-up, Princess of Sylmar with jockey Mike Smith, that gave Pletcher his third Kentucky Oaks victory, having won with Ashado in 2004 and Rags to Riches in 2007.
As Princess of Sylmar was making her way to the winner's circle to be adorned with the garland of lillies, many of the 113,820 fans at Churchill Downs were watching the exuberant crowd gathering on the turf and wondering just who was Princess of Sylmar.
Princess of Sylmar is the Pennsylvania homebred daughter of Majestic Warrior out of Storm Dixie, owned by King of Prussia Stable and Ed Stanco. She finished second in the Grade 2 Gazelle at Aqueduct behind Close Hatches. Prior to that, Princess of Sylmar was on a four-race win streak, which included two ungraded stakes.
"We're pleasantly surprised with her effort and her win," said Pletcher. "We didn't much like her first breeze (:48.60 April 20), but her second one (:49.20 April 27) was much better done. She's a good filly; we knew that all along. And we took her out of her natural running style last time. This time she made that good run and got it done."
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